LED project lights the way for savings

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Let there be light! — as long as it is cost-effective, energy-efficient LED light.

Southwestern College has begun the process of switching off fluorescent lights and switching to light-emitting diode (LED) illumination. Classrooms in the 400 and 500 series buildings on the Chula Vista campus are lighting the way.

John Brown, director of facilities, said they were placed there with longevity in mind.

“These buildings were chosen because according to the Facilities Master Plan they most likely will remain in usage for the next 20-25 years,” he said.

LED lights have a feature called light harvesting, said Brown, which will save energy as SWC continues to go green.

SWC filed a successful energy expenditure plan application with the California Energy Commission to improve energy efficiency and expand clean energy generation. It calls for the replacement of about 1,200 T8 fluorescent lights with LED.

LED fixtures have many benefits over fluorescent bulbs. LED’s operate cooler, use less energy, and have light harvesting technology. It uses sensors in the light that track the amount of natural light coming into a room and dims the LED lights to an appropriate level of lighting.

Anticipated energy savings from the LED upgrades are approximately 150,000 kilowatt hours and up to $20,000 per year, said Brown.
LEDs are quieter than fluorescent lights and last 60,000 hours to fluorescents average of 10,000.

“The light fixtures last longer and do not require maintenance, saving the district money in labor,” said Brown.

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